Ain’t all too often that anything gets me engaged over Facebook but Kathy has really caught me. It was sometime back in late September that almost day after day tiny Schnauzers popped up in my news feed first thing in the day. One morning I couldn’t help myself and had to ask what was that all about, there was cuteness that fits in a finger all over the place!
By then this was a Top-Secret project. She was working on a ambitious idea: A Schnauzer Christmas Village.
Well, the rest of the story is handed to us by Kathy herself, I hope you enjoy reading her same way I did. There’s a video of the village at the end of the post!
By Kathy Gabert Thom
My husband and I have owned miniature schnauzers for 34 years and have been a member of our local breed club in Arizona, USA for the last 19 years, serving on the board of directors, show chairman and other club duties over the years. This is the 4th year we have hosted our clubs Christmas party, I wanted to create a little something different when decorating this year….A *special surprise, a Schnauzer Christmas village!
After doing a little research on the Pintrest web site for ideas and how to make the landscaping, I decided on a winter ski village theme, the log cabin buildings, skating rink, marshmallow roast pieces were given to me from a friend, the other houses I already had. From there, the village took on a life of its own and literally took over my kitchen table and village set up space, for 6-7 weeks.
The ski hill, side boulders and other platforms are made from Styrofoam, crumpled newspaper and plaster cloth (much like paper-mache’ but easier to work with) then painted. The ski lifts are made of Styrofoam, PVC pipe, wooden buttons and thin cable rope. Lift chairs and benches are made of small pop-cycle sticks. The Merry-go-round, much of the same materials, with the addition of a battery operated turn table under it-along with lots of battery operated copper wire string lights. 2 single spot lights use coin batteries, one as a street light shinning on the skating rink, the other for “Rudolph’s” red nose. Each piece took about a week to create. The hardest part was figuring out how to make it, id never done anything quite like this before and making it work in the space available. It measures nearly 12 ft long (3 meters) and 2 1/2 ft deep (75 cm) It’s up high (5 feet/ 1 1/2 meters) on a shelf in our family room. Built on a slight incline, leaning forward, so it can easily be seen from below. For the back drop, I printed snow covered mountains from the computer and attached them to blue wrapping paper, with cut out paper snow flakes and full moon.
Next…the dogs…id never worked with clay before and consider myself more of an arts n crafts person vs artist. From prior experience in making schnauzer heads with fondant frosting for cupcakes, I decided to try and make a similar mold from silicon putty, of an old schnauzer Christmas ornaments head. Stage one was completed and now I had to figure out how to add a body. With a few trial and error attempts, I came up with an acceptable dog and with each, I got a little better at making them. 18 in all I placed through out the village, each one slightly different from the next-and a few “naughty” dogs were added just for fun! Each dog took 2 days from start to finish, with drying time, sanding and painting. After that, I added sleds (made from pop-cycle sticks) clay snow saucers and all the extras to each dog.
The houses, trees and people are a mix of Lemax, Santa’s workshop and dept 56. The schnauzer tree is Danbury mint collectable I bought 12 years ago. My friend and I spent an entire evening hot gluing all the Christmas lights to each building and some of the trees.Once everything was completed, it took 2-3 days to put the village together on the shelf and make it look just right. It looks almost magical at night, with all the lights on. I can just picture myself, joining in on all the schnauzer fun!
posted by Barbara
It is even more amazing in person! I admire Kathy’s creativity!